Back in 1971, the city of Bradenton purchased the property on 24th St. E and built a park. Around the same time, Bruce Glasure move his Little League active family to Bradenton only to find out that there was no organized ball for the kids to play, except at the Boys Club. He took it upon himself to contact LITTLE LEAGUE headquarters in Williamsport and the newspaper to initiate the organization of Manatee County’s first LITTLE LEAGUE charter. The parents welcomed the idea with open arms. In 1972 this group of parents got together to charter what was, then, called Bradenton Little League, according to Little League Regional Headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, with Bruce Glasure as the first president. The name was later changed to Manatee American. Due to an increased interest in this sport, they added another charter in 1976 calledManatee National Little League. With so many players coming in to play ball from the Palmetto area, the North River American was added in 1983 and played at Blackstone Park. The league expanded again, in 1985, to accommodate the many players from the island, creating the Anna Maria League, who began playing at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Manatee American and Manatee National continued to play at 24th St. E Park because there was nowhere else for them to play. The Junior, Senior and Big League programs, ages 13 – 18, were played on the local high school fields because those were the only large fields available. With great anticipation, in 1986, the county finally opened G.T. Bray Park. Manatee American and Manatee National were moved to the new, modern park and the 24th St. E Park was no longer used. As the population and interest in Little League continued to grow in the county, so did the charters. Due to more overgrowth and interest, as well as to accommodate the teams having to drive an extended distance from Myakka, Manatee East Little League was chartered in 1989 and the 24th St. E Park was reopened as their home field. With Manatee East came another new charter in 1989, the Challenger Little League Program. This program makes it possible for any child with a disability, of any kind, to play ball. For two years, the continued growth in east Manatee gave cause for another expansion. Manatee East Little League was too large and had to be split into two charters in 1991. Braden River League was formed and due to a shortage of fields continued to play at 24th St. E Park. Manatee West also found themselves overpopulated in 1991 and had to split into a third charter called Manatee Central. Manatee East and Braden River continued playing together at 24th St. E Park until the county finally opened a new park on SR70 behind the Highway Patrol Station in 1995 for the Braden River charter. As construction moved eastward, north of the river, it was necessary to split North River American in 1996. North River National became the eighth charter in our county. After playing for years as part of Florida District 16, Manatee and Sarasota counties were split into two county-wide districts. Little League in Manatee County became Florida District 26 for the 2005 season, with Norma Lloyd as our first District Administrator.